I don’t think I ever had any doubts that Legends of Tomorrow would be an unwavering success. Greg Berlanti has enough experience under his superhero belt (Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl) that it was only natural he would knock this one out of the ballpark as well. It sure helps that he’s assembled a team of favourites from his two CW shows (on-screen and behind-the-scenes) to populate his most ambitious production yet. Color me impressed because I’m definitely on board for this adventure.
The great thing about Legends is that it genuinely feels like a comic book that’s come to life. It’s vibrantly realized, and every frame is dynamic in all its pop-up visual glory. Moreover, the pilot is straight to the point – skilfully jumping from one scene to the next while giving each of its cast members a time to shine (and let’s be honest, this is one sprawling cast of superheroes – and villains).
Rip Hunter is the only new character of the bunch, and while he’s predictable saddled with a whole lot of exposition, he still manages to rise out unscathed thanks to some fantastic backstory involving Savage killing his wife and kid (in that brutal teaser). In addition, the pilot produces two terrific twists: first it’s revealed that Hunter is actually working AGAINST the Time Masters’ orders, and second: his heroes aren’t really “legends” in the slightest. They’re actually utterly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and that’s what makes them so expendable in the timeline. I downright loved this twist because it makes our otherworldly heroes relatable as they question themselves (and who among us doesn’t?). Genius move.
Interestingly enough, several Arrow/Flash characters that I previously loathed managed to grow on me in this pilot. I thought Hawkman and Hawkgirl were completely useless in the crossover a few weeks back, but I actually found myself enjoying their dynamic in Legends. Perhaps their backstory worked more effectively than I had previously thought? Even Jax (our new Firestorm) didn’t bother me nearly as much – of course it helps that his other half (Professor Stein) is just so darn hilarious across the board.
I do have concern though; Vandall Savage just doesn’t strike me as the most menacing and sinister of villains (no matter what that ending with the nuclear misses would have you believe). I thought he was an absolute flop in the crossover, and I fail to see how his presence will improve. Nevertheless, I have faith in Berlanti, so I’ll try to remain optimistic. Chronos on the other hand? Much more mysterious and cool.
Bits of Tomorrow
– The opening London attack was quite impressive in scope. Astounding production design there!
– How gorgeous is Hunter’s ship, The Waverider? It just FEELS like home. I can’t wait to spend more time in it.
– Hey there Oliver! No cameo from Barry?
– I absolutely loved everything about the Laurel/Sara scene – from the training to Laurel presenting Sara with her White Canary getup. Plus both actresses looked gorgeous! Fingers crossed that Katie Cassidy makes more appearances going forward.
– Professor Stein drugging Jax just rubbed me the wrong way. Roofie? Really show?
– I like Gideon already. She’s stubborn!
– Stein doesn’t remember Palmer. Hmmm….
– Our first trip: the 70s! Can’t wait to see where the team goes next!
– Loved the twist with the Professor turning out to be the son of our Hawk duo. His death scene was actually quite moving!
– Umm… that bar fight scene with Sara/Mick/Snart kicking ass? Epic! Also, the shot of Sara dancing on her own was everything.
– The CGI was on-point throughout the entire hour.; The CW obviously spent bucketloads on this. Adored the big battle with Chronos outside the ship (if only Sara actually did something).
– I don’t get why the network didn’t air both parts of the pilot as one extravaganza. It definitely feels like that would have been the wiser move.
– The best thing about the show? It’s funny! (see below).
Rip: Set a course. United States. Star City. January, 2016.
Gideon: Ah, the early second millennium A.D. The golden age of gasoline engines, online pornography, and those silly little smartphones.
Rip: Next recruit: Sara Lance. Former member of the League of Assassins, also formerly dead.
Mich: What the hell are you doing here?
Stein: I’m as ignorant as you, for once.
Carter: Vandal is immortal. Kendra and I reincarnate.
Sara: Yeah, I’ve done that.
Oliver: So what do you know about Captain Hunter?
Palmer: He’s a Time Master from the 22nd century. It’s a little hard to Google.
Laurel: After you died, I needed a channel for my grief. I found it in becoming the Black Canary. I found it in you.
Sara: For me, being the Canary was never that positive.
Laurel: Then don’t be the Canary. Do what Oliver’s been doing. Do what this Rip Hunter is offering you the chance to do and… Be a hero in the light. Be the White Canary.
Sara: Where’s the mask?
Laurel: You don’t need it anymore. You’ve lived in the shadows long enough.
Snart: Why did we become criminals?
Mick: Because we hate working and we love money.
Palmer: I think we’re being punked. Do people still say “punked”?
Mick: Whatever you roofied him with, I’d like some.
Stein: I did not roofie him.
Mick: Oh, I ain’t judging.
Hunter: Some of you may experience some slight discomfort. In very rare instances, there will be some, uh, bleeding from the eyeballs.
Mick: We go out for one lousy drink, and you guys somehow manage to pick a fight with Boba Fett.
Mick: Give me one good reason why we shouldn’t kill you.
Stein: Ditto the arsonist.
Palmer: Great, so we’re not an elite team of heroes on a sanctioned mission, sent to rid the future of its most horrific bad guy. Just a collection of nobodies who time really doesn’t give a damn about.
Savage: You know what this is? An instrument to make this world a better place. History teaches us that the cause of humanity is only advanced through strife. There’s no Renaissance without the Dark Ages. Man had no interest in splitting the atom until World War II. I’m just trying to make this world a better place, one war at a time.
A confident and enormously enjoyable opener in every way. I’ve got high hopes for this one!